Ogden all but ruled out for Steelers game

OWINGS MILLS -- Baltimore Ravens All-Pro offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden was virtually ruled out from playing Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers because of a hyperextended toe as the team downgraded him to doubtful. "That toe's not looking good," Ravens coach Brian Billick said Friday after Ogden missed his third practice this week.

Ogden indicated Thursday that he would try to play while also acknowledging how sore his left big toe is after injuring it during Sunday's 27-17 win over the Cleveland Browns.
Ogden labeled the injury as a "turf toe," an injury which tends to linger. This will mark the first game Ogden has missed this season. "It's very important," Ogden said of his ability to push off his 6-foot-9, 345-pound frame. "It loads a lot of weight, especially my outside left toe. You don't know how much you use it until it's hurting.
"That's about the only way you can describe it. You can't do a whole lot with a toe that's not 100 percent, or at least 90 percent."
The 10-time All-Pro's impending deactivation doesn't come as a surprise to his teammates, who expressed confidence in second-year offensive tackle Adam Terry's ability to keep brash Steelers outside linebacker Joey Porter off quarterback Steve McNair's blindside.
"If Jonathan could play, he would play," center Mike Flynn said. "He's sore, and you don't want to hurt it any worse. He'll probably be back next week and definitely back for the playoffs. "There's no need to push it. It would be one thing if maybe we needed this game to get into the playoffs and he could try to do something Sunday before the game. We knew going into this week that he wouldn't be playing."
The Ravens (11-3) have already clinched a playoff berth and claimed the AFC North title. Seeded third in the AFC behind the San Diego Chargers and Indianapolis Colts, the Ravens are still chasing a first-round bye in the playoffs.
Now, the Ravens will need Terry to slow down Porter's outside pass rush. It marks his first NFL start. He filled in capably in a 28-6 win over the Oakland Raiders in the second week of the regular season when Ogden hyperextended his knee.
"Adam is going to do a good job," Flynn said. "It's not going to change our game plan. He'll be fine. He's played before, and against good players.
"He's athletic. The biggest thing is getting used to playing again. After the first series, he should be fine."
TRAINING ROOM: The Ravens upgraded wide receiver Mark Clayton (chest) to probable and he's expected to start after being rested Friday at practice.
Clayton indicated that his injury is actually to his back, though, which is contrary to the official injury report.
"I landed on my back the other day at practice real hard diving for a ball," he said. "It feels much better now."
Tight end Todd Heap (thigh) remains questionable, but is expected to start after being given time off during practice all week. Tight end Daniel Wilcox (knee/back) is questionable, but is expected to play.
Wide receiver Derrick Mason (thigh) was upgraded to probable and is expected to start. Cornerback Samari Rolle (neck stinger) was upgraded to probable, but was rested Friday during practice.
Safety Gerome Sapp (thigh) and Flynn (thigh) were upgraded to probable.
Quarterback Steve McNair (hand) isn't on the injury report and apparently practiced all week without any setbacks.
CONTAINING FAST WILLIE: Steelers running back Willie Parker considers himself a long-run artist and is coming off an impressive 41-yard touchdown jaunt during last week's blowout win over the Carolina Panthers.
The Pro Bowl runner known as Fast Willie will have his resolve tested Sunday when he faces off against the NFL's top-ranked defense that has allowed only three runs of 20 yards or more this season. Parker has rushed for 1,331 yards and 11 touchdowns, averaging 4.6 yards per carry with 11 runs of 20 yards or more.
"He's definitely a home-run hitter every time he touches the ball," nose guard Kelly Gregg said. "You want to put hats on him early."
The longest runs registered against Baltimore this season are a 47-yarder by Kansas City Chiefs running back Larry Johnson, Tennessee Titans runner Travis Henry's 30-yard burst and a 29-yard sprint from San Diego Chargers star LaDainian Tomlinson, the league's leading rusher.
"We're just playing technique football and playing with fundamentals," outside linebacker Terrell Suggs said. "We pride ourselves on stopping the run, and that's why we've only given up three."
QUICK HITS: Under Billick's play-calling, the Ravens' offense has climbed to 19th overall. That's 10 spots higher than they ranked under former offensive coordinator Jim Fassel, whom Billick fired after six games. … The Ravens are liable to lean heavily on running back Jamal Lewis with Musa Smith on injured reserve while giving some playing time to Mike Anderson as Lewis' primary backup. style. "This late, there's a toll every time you hit somebody," Billick said. "Obviously, his physical style for December and January, that's a positive for us to play that kind of physical running game." … Billick said he didn't know whether return specialist B.J. Sams will require surgery to repair the fractured ankle that ended his season. …. Taking shots at the condition of Heinz Field has become a popular sport at the Ravens' training complex with linebacker Bart Scott getting into the act, too. "It will be tough going in there and playing on that painted dirt," he said. … Scott said visiting a child at Johns Hopkins Hospital put being snubbed for the Pro Bowl in the proper perspective. "There he is, a quadriplegic, and he picked me as his favorite player and I had an opportunity to hang out with him and brighten his day," he said. "That's what football and status is all about, going and giving back to somebody."
Aaron Wilson covers teh Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times in Westminster, Maryland.

Ravens Insider Top Stories